Learning of a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is an overwhelming and life-changing experience, both for the affected person and his or her family. One of the most common questions asked at this time, both by patients and their families, relates to whether the affected person will be able to stay at home when the disease progresses. In general, it is possible for an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient to remain at home even in the later stages of the disease, depending on the specifics of the situation.
What Determines Whether a Patient Can Stay at Home?
Several different factors help determine how long a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia can remain at home after diagnosis. Some of these factors include:
The Patient’s Needs
As Alzheimer’s or dementia progresses, the affected person will need more and more assistance with daily activities. In some cases, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients may even need in-home care. The level of support the patient needs on a daily basis will have an impact on his or her ability to remain at home. When the patient needs round-the-clock care, keeping him or her at home will be more difficult.
Availability of Family Support
One of the most important factors affecting the ability to keep a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia at home is the availability of support within the family. The more people who are available and willing to help care for the individual, the easier it will be for him or her to remain at home even as the disease progresses.
Ability to Afford Home Care
As a patient’s needs increase, many families will need to hire dementia or Alzheimer’s care professionals to help them meet these needs. If the patient is in need of in-home care, it is not typically covered by health insurance or Medicare. If the family is not able to meet all of the affected person’s needs on their own, the family’s ability to afford private pay non-medical home care will determine whether they are able to keep him or her at home.
Making a Decision
Deciding whether or not to keep your loved one at home can be difficult. Remaining in a familiar environment can help patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia to experience less anxiety and remain more comfortable at all stages of their illness. However, for some families, keeping a patient at home is not possible. If you aren’t sure whether you should keep your loved one at home or place them in a facility, take time to consider the advantages and disadvantages carefully before you make a decision. If you decide to keep your loved one at home with the help of an in-home care agency, be sure to compare all of your options carefully so you can be sure you have entrusted your loved-one to qualified caregivers.
Looking for more information? Check out the Family Guide to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care and our other guides, located here.
Navigating the senior care world is often frustrating and overwhelming. The members listed on Approved Senior Network are here to guide you and your family through the confusion and make elder care easier.
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